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WQED MULTIMEDIA SERVES AS PRODUCTION CENTER FOR TSUNAMI TELETHON AS PITTSBURGH TELEVISION STATIONS JOIN FORCES IN UNPRECEDENTED RELIEF EFFORT
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PITTSBURGH, PA - In a rare display of strength and solidarity, Pittsburgh television stations teamed up to produce and televise “Pittsburgh Responds,” a telethon to raise money for the Tsunami victims. Broadcast from the WQED Multimedia studios, the telethon aired live on KDKA(CBS), WPGH(FOX), WPXI(NBC) and WTAE(ABC) on Friday, January 7, from 7 to 8 p.m. WQED provided production and studio facilities, since FCC restrictions prevent it from airing the telethon. Pledges were taken for The American Red Cross Relief efforts.
WQED OnQ correspondents Chris Moore, Michael Bartley and Tonia Caruso co-hosted the telethon with anchors from each station, and local reporters and volunteers staffed the phone banks. Although the networks resumed regular programming at 8 p.m., the phone banks remained open until 11:30 p.m., and stations cut-in throughout the night, updating viewers on the total in pledges. Coverage then resumed during their late-night newscasts. By the end of the evening, “Pittsburgh Responds” had raised $922,917 for the Tsunami victims.
“ Western Pennsylvania is such a giving region - helping those in need is what it does best,” said B.J. Leber, WQED senior vice president and station manager. “When WQED was asked to be part of this unique effort between the television networks and the community, we jumped at the opportunity and were thrilled to be able to play a key role in the effort.”


"We are so grateful to all of the people throughout the Pittsburgh region and all of western Pennsylvania for, once again, demonstrating how much they care for those in need - no matter whether that need is right here or half way around the world,” commented T.L. (Tim) Tassone, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Southwestern PA whose Red Cross Chapter was central to the telethon's appeal.

“Pittsburgh TV stations' management and news people showed the sort of true professionals and caring people they are, as well. And WQED showed all of us just what spirit and community and cooperation and class is all about!”

WQED Multimedia’s flagship program, the Emmy Award winning OnQ magazine, airs weeknights on WQED tv13. It is live and it is local. Since its inception in January 2000, OnQ has covered the region with in-depth, thoughtful pieces that showcase the people and places of southwestern Pennsylvania. The show has become the program of choice for those seeking comprehensive coverage of local news and important issues, with long-form feature reports. Hosted by Stacy Smith, with Chris Moore, Carol Lee Espy, Michael Bartley and Tonia Caruso, OnQ airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on WQED tv13, with encore broadcasts Monday through Thursday at 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. the following weekday.

WQED Multimedia provides educational, cultural and informational products and services that enhance and engage the community. It is the parent company of WQED tv13, WQEX – your America’s Store channel, WQED fm89.3, WQEJ fm89.7/Johnstown, a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH magazine, local and national television and radio productions, www.wqed.org and the WQED Education and Community Resource Center.

The American Red Cross of Southwestern Pennsylvania serves over 1.6 million people in Allegheny, Washington, Greene and Fayette counties. Locally, the Red Cross provides relief to the victims of more than 300 disasters each year, assists more than 1,000 military families by facilitating emergency messages between our deployed men and women in uniform and their loved ones here at home, as well as trains more than 45,000 individuals in vital lifesaving skills. The American Red Cross in Southwestern Pennsylvania is honored to support two senior volunteer programs, The Foster Grandparent Program and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, as well as the Homeless Prevention Services of Washington County. The American Red Cross is not a government agency, nor does it receive funding from its national headquarters except during times of large-scale disasters. It is only through the generosity of the people of southwestern Pennsylvania that the local Red Cross is able fulfill its mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters and other lifesaving emergencies. To make a donation of time or treasure, contact the American Red Cross of Southwestern Pennsylvania by phone at 1-888-217-9599, by mail at 225 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222 or online at swpa.redcross.org.

For additional information, please e-mail: promotion@wqed.org


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